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Golden Knights Gameday #49: All Jacked Up: Lines, Notes, vs Avalanche

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The time has finally come. Wednesday night Jack Eichel will make his debut with the Vegas Golden Knights (28-17-3- 59 points) as they take on the Colorado Avalanche (34-9-4- 72 points).

It has been a week since the Golden Knight’s last game against the Calgary Flames. Since a lot has happened. The Flames themselves have passed the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division standings. The Flames and Anaheim Ducks will play tonight as well in an important Pacific Division matchup.

Also since last week, the Golden Knights have been hit with more injuries. Mark Stone has also been placed on LTIR due to back problems (and also maybe salary cap reasons). Robin Lehner is also out for the foreseeable future with an upper-body injury. According to head coach Peter DeBoer Lehner will be back “sooner rather than later” so you can axe those Marc-Andre Fleury trade rumors.

Keys to the Game

Hit the Road Jack

The biggest storyline surrounding this game is, of course, the return of Jack Eichel. The 25-year old center has been out since March 7th, 2021 with a neck injury. After he was acquired by the Golden Knights he underwent artificial disk replacement surgery which has kept him out up until now.

One might want to temper their expectations on Eichel’s return as it has been quite a long time since Eichel has seen game action. However, with the highlight-reel skillset that he possesses, he could be in full form sooner than we all expect.

Personally, I see him either scoring something like five points or not scoring at all with no in-between.

A Completely Fresh Lineup

Listed below are the Golden Knight’s projected line combinations for Wednesday’s game. With Eichel now in the lineup, there are a whole lot of changes to Peter DeBoer’s lineup card. Of course, there is Eichel himself playing on a line with Evgenii Dadonov and fellow American Max Pacioretty.

But also worth noting is the separation of the Misfit Line. Mattias Janmark will play alongside fellow Swede William Karlsson. Nicolas Roy will also move from center to wing on the third line. Brett Howden also stays in the lineup with the impressive offensive surge that he has had. And somewhat surprisingly, Keegan Kolesar has been pulled out of the lineup for the first time this season.

All You LB

With Robin Lehner now out for the time being the net is Laurent Brossoit’s for the taking. Brossoit has battled injuries a bit this season and has seen 16 games. He owns a record of 9-3-2 with a save percentage of .905% and a 2.66 goals-against-average.

Lehner’s injury gives Brossoit the opportunity to challenge Lehner and maybe even make a case for the starting position himself. He will start this journey against a tough offense though against Nathan Mackinnon, Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, and Nazem Kadri.

Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations

Max Pacioretty- Jack Eichel– Evgenii Dadonov

Mattias Janmark- William Karlsson– Reilly Smith

Jonathan Marchessault- Chandler Stephenson- Nicolas Roy

William Carrier- Brett Howden- Nolan Patrick

Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore

Ben Hutton- Dylan Coghlan

Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson

Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams

19.51% Powerplay (19th) and 79.55% Penalty Kill (17th)

PP1: Pacioretty, Dadonov, Patrick, Eichel, Theodore

PP2: Stephenson, Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault Pietrangelo

PK1: Karlsson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo

PK2: Roy, Janmark, Hague, Theodore

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches/Taxi Squad

Mark Stone (back), Robin Lehner (upper-body), Alec Martinez (face), Zach Whitecloud (foot)

Michael Amadio (scratched), Daniil Miromanov (scratched), Keegan Kolesar (scratched)

Projected Colorado Avalanche Line Combinations

Gabriel Landeskog- Nathan Mackinnon- Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin- Nazem Kadri- Andre Burakovsky

JT Compher- Alex Newhook- Logan O’Connor

Darren Helm- Tyson Jost- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Devon Toews- Cale Makar

Jack Johnson- Sam Girard

Kurtis MacDermid- Erik Johnson

Darcy Kuemper/Pavel Francouz

Colorado Avalanche Special Teams

23.84% Powerplay (10th) and 76.92% Penalty Kill (22nd)

PP1- Landeskog, Kadri, Rantanen, Mackinnon, Makar

PP2- Nichushkin, Newhook, Burakovsky, Girard, Toews

PK1- Compher, O’Connor, J. Johnson, Girad

PK2- Kadri, Jost, Toews, E. Johnson

Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches

Stefan Matteau, Bowen Byram

How to Watch/Listen

7:00 pm on ESPN+ Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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